"This means a lot to me," Freeman said, per The Associated Press. "This has always been my dream. I never had a dream to come to the NFL and play second to no man."
Freeman told reporters Tuesday that he "didn't really take a break" this offseason, working instead with a trainer in Miami, saying: "I went hard. ... I just went full-throttle. I didn't take days off. Football is all I know and all I love. ... I was always working."
The rookie Coleman turned heads in April when he declared, minutes after being drafted: "I'm going to come in there and I'm going to get the starting spot."
Freeman, though, has impressed new coach Dan Quinn, who says the 5-foot-8, 206-pounder is more than just a good pass-catcher out of the backfield.
"Now to add what he is doing in the run game, I can't wait to watch him work," Quinn said. "He doesn't back down from anything. That's one of the things I like about Devonta the most. He gets every challenge and 'Yep, I'm ready for the next one.' That's one of the things I really do admire about him and his game."
The Falcons' backfield will remain under the microscope all offseason, especially from a fantasy perspective. New play-caller Kyle Shanahan loves leaning on the ground game and isn't afraid to hand the ball to first-year runners -- one reason why we see Coleman as a genuine threat to Freeman's workload.
It's May and this race has just begun, but we already prefer this year's Falcons backfield to what Atlanta fielded a season ago.